Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Fluon® ETFE

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Fluon® ETFE

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In 1972 the AGC, Fluon. manufactured by ETFE high-performance fluoropolymer resins have been used worldwide in hundreds of different applications including tubing, piping, wire/cable coatings, hoses, architectural films, valves and other components. When ETFE is made with melt-processable resins or films, these components are physically tough and able to withstand extreme conditions, chemicals, UV and weather.

For the past 50 years, ETFE resins have been the material of choice for products and components that need to perform and perform in tough environments, both inside and out. ETFE films are specified by architects and builders around the world to replace glass and other materials for roofs and façades. Although ETFE film is much lighter than glass, it is much stronger and better able to withstand extreme temperatures and chemicals. For example, a 16,000-hour accelerated weathering test, the equivalent of 30 years of exposure, resulted in almost no signs of film spoilage.

Major Applications for ETFE Materials

ETFE resins have been used for decades in automobile components, including engine wiring, transmission wiring, under-hood wiring, and fiber optic cables. The durability of these parts and components cuts down on overall industrial waste and helps the vehicles last longer.

ETFE has high heat resistance and ductility, which helps to extend the life of electrical wiring. For example, when used in under-the-hood wiring in next-generation vehicles such as electric vehicles that require high heat endurance and chemical resistance, ETFE can replace low-performing conventional materials such as PE or PP. can replace.

ETFE resins are also used in applications that affect everyday life, but are invisible to the average consumer. For example, they are fit for tubing that goes in and out of homes and businesses, as well as for water tanks.

ETFE resins can be purchased in pellet or powder form and can be processed using extrusion molding, injection molding, blow molding or electrostatic coating.

Expanding ETFE Resin Portfolio

As the decades have passed, AGC continues to expand its portfolio of reliable ETFE resins based on a variety of industries and environments. In addition to ETFE resins, AGC offers LM-ETFE resins.

LM-ETFE resins are modified to provide 30-40℃ lower melting point. This wide temperature range allows for superior processability, flexibility and strength. They are processed by conventional extrusion and injection molding techniques and are available in rotomolding, rotolining and adhesive grades.

Some of the main differences between ETFE and LM-ETFE resins are mentioned below:

ETFE Resins:

  • Continuous use temperature ranges from -200 to 200 °C
  • Resistant to the effects of low temperatures up to -80 °C
  • Superior tensile elongation and strength
  • Can be cross-linked with electron beam for increased stiffness
  • Stable mechanical and electrical properties
  • UV resistance
  • long term weather capability
  • Excellent chemical resistance to inorganic acids/bases and organic solvents
  • UL standard 94V-0 . non-flammable material
  • FDA-compliant for Food Contact Notification (FCN) No. 481

LM-ETFE Resins:

  • high heat resistance
  • 30 °C to 40 °C lower melting point than other ETFE materials
  • Excellent resistance to weathering and aging
  • UL standard 94V-0 . non-flammable material
  • dielectric properties
  • Non-Stick Features
  • better optical clarity; Higher transparency than traditional EFTE
  • High limiting oxygen index (40% vs 31%)
  • Features of low smoke and flame
  • Can withstand flex over 100,000 times
  • Can be cross-linked with electron beam for increased stiffness
  • FDA-compliant for Food Contact Notification (FCN) No. 481

Click here for a full view of the chemical resistance of these resins.

ETFE Films

In addition to resins, AGC produces a range of Fluone ETFE films, a high-performance fluorine-based film used in architectural structures around the world due to their exceptional transparency, antifouling properties and durability.

These films are commonly used for architectural roofs and façades. In fact, they cover the roof of Sophie Stadium in Los Angeles, home of the NFL’s Chargers and Rams, and were displayed during the Big Game in February 2022.

Films were also used to convert arenas in Beijing, suitable for hosting winter events, to host summer events. For example, the Beijing ‘Water Cube’ was retro-fitted with film and other materials to become the “Ice Cube”, which was on major display during the 2022 Winter events.

Although it is much lighter than glass, ETFE film will not rip or scratch easily, even in harsh environments. It has high tensile elongation (200–510) and tear strength, as well as a thermal melting point of 260 °C and a linear thermal expansion coefficient of 9.4.

This film is available in a variety of thicknesses and finishes, ranging from 12μm to 250μm, and has light transmission options of over 90%.

building a sustainable future

Fluon ETFE resins and films are helping to pave the way for a more sustainable future. For starters, these products are made from a natural material called fluorite, which is the mineral form of calcium fluoride.

Once formed, resins and films have excellent durability, are long lasting and are reusable. In the transportation industry, resins have the ability to extend the service life of products.

F-Clean films can be collected exclusively when they are discarded and spread on soil for agriculture. This is a new initiative to promote food security and reuse the products instead of discarding them completely. A longer life for all of these products cuts down on overall industrial waste across the planet.

The market for both resins and films for high-tech products, aircraft and medical devices is expected to grow in the future.

Stable production and reliable customer service

Unlike most industry, AGC has increased production of these products despite worldwide disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent supply chain issues.

Over these past 50 years, we have built up a better supply capacity than our competitors due to high production technology, stable production, supply capabilities and reliable customer service.

Fluon ETFE resins and films have played a huge role in everyday life over the past 50 years. With their adaptability to new technologies and increasing use in technology and infrastructure around the world, these products will help pave the way for more sustainable and convenient living for the next 50 years and beyond. We look forward to seeing what the future holds.

To learn more about the benefits of Fluon ETFE and LM-ETFE resins or Fluon ETFE films for your application, contact an AGC product specialist.

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